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The Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) is the national agency responsible for regulation, monitoring and enforcement in the fields of environment and spatial planning.
MEPA was established in 2002 out of the merger of the former Planning Authority and the Environment Protection Department. The Authority falls under the portfolio of the Office of the Prime Minister and operates under the legal mandate of the Environment Protection Act (2001) and the Development Planning Act (2001) of the Laws of Malta.
MEPA consists of three directorates: The Planning Directorate, the Environment Protection Directorate and the Corporate Services Directorate. The main decision-making body providing strategic guidance within the Authority is the MEPA board. This 15-member board includes representatives from government ministries, members appointed by the Prime Minister and by the Opposition Leader, as well as members representing commerce, social and community affairs and the environment. In addition, there are a number of subsidiary boards and committees, which assist the organisation in fulfilling its functions and responsibilities in line with its legal obligations.
MEPA is responsible for the establishment of long and short-term objectives and strategies in the environment field, for the setting of environmental standards, guidelines and regulations and for the control and management of activities having an impact on the environment through a licensing and permitting system. It is also responsible for the promotion and control of proper land development, both public and private, in accordance with approved policies and plans. MEPA also performs the functions of the national land surveying and mapping agency.
Budget and number of staff
The Authority employs around 430 multi-disciplinary personnel on a full-time basis, including over 120 graduates in various areas, such as architecture, town planning and legal fields, as well as in the natural and social sciences, communications, business, IT, cartography and geographical information systems. MEPA's budget for the 2007 - 2008 financial year was around €15.8 million, of which about one third was financed by the Government while the rest came from MEPA's own sources of revenue, such as permit fees or the provision of mapping and land survey services on a commercial basis.
Areas of responsibility
As a national environmental, planning and cartographic agency, MEPA provides the following services:
The Environment Protection Directorate (EPD)
The EPD is involved in the formulation of environmental legislation and policy, its implementation and enforcement, as well as in the integration of environmental considerations in other areas of government policy.
The core strategic goals of the Directorate are:
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